Meet what’s likely the final Audi RS6 wagon with non-hybrid V8 petrol power, the GT edition – inspired by an iconic race car from the 1980s.
Audi has unveiled the pinnacle of the current 2024 Audi RS6 Avant super wagon range, the GT – due in Australia later this year in limited numbers.
The RS6 GT is the showroom-bound version of the RS6 GTO one-off concept unveiled in 2020 – created by Audi apprentices – itself inspired by the Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO race car of 1989.
It is the most extreme version of the current RS6, and is likely to be the last new RS6 Avant variant with non-hybrid V8 power.
The next vehicle to wear the RS6 Avant name is set to be the RS6 E-Tron Avant, an electric car due next year – while the successor to today’s RS6 is expected to be known as the RS7 Avant, and use plug-in hybrid V8 propulsion.
Only 660 examples of the RS6 GT will be produced globally, more than 20 of which will come to Australia. Showroom arrivals are due in the second half of this year.
Powering the RS6 GT is the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 as other models in the line-up, with outputs of 463kW and 850Nm matching the Performance version on sale now – sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Audi claims a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 3.3 seconds, 0-200km/h in 11.5 seconds, and a 305km/h top speed – all shared with the RS6 Performance.
Where the GT differs from its RS6 siblings is under the skin – and in exterior and interior styling.
Thanks to manually-adjustable, race-inspired coil-over suspension fitted as standard, it rides 10mm lower than the regular RS6 Avant, plus stiffer springs, three-stage dampers, and 30 per cent stiffer front and 80 per cent stiffer rear anti-roll bars.
Customers can have the coil-overs switched for adaptive dampers with steel springs, or adaptive air suspension.
The transmission has been revised with “optimised” shift tuning, the Quattro sport differential has been retuned for a more rear-biased power distribution, and Continental SportContact 7 tyres claimed to reduce the 100-0km/h braking distance by two metres are fitted.
Inspired by the RS6 GTO concept, the RS6 GT production car gains a carbon-fibre bonnet, new carbon-fibre front wheel arches with air vents, and a restyled front fascia with black-painted intakes and a lower splitter.
While the GT looks wider than the regular RS6 – due to the new front wheel arches – Audi executives say the body and wheel track widths are unchanged.
There are unique 22-inch alloy wheels inspired by the Audi Avus concept of 2003, plus carbon-fibre mirror caps, unique side skirts, a restyled rear diffuser with a central reflector, and a subtly-tweaked tailgate design with RS6 GT badges.
Audi says the twin-level rear spoiler has been taken “almost 1:1 from the apprentices’ concept car”, and the roof rails have been deleted for the first time in the history of the RS6 Avant badge.
The ‘hero’ colour scheme for the RS6 GT is an Arkona White base paint layer with red, black and grey decals, and white wheels – inspired by the Audi 90 IMSA car of 1989.
The decals can be ordered in black and grey on a Nardo Grey or Mythos Black body – with high-gloss or matte black wheels – while buyers can also opt for a single-colour body in Arkona White, Nardo Grey, Chronos Grey Metallic, Madeira Brown Metallic and Mythos Black Metallic, without decals.
Inside, the GT receives front RS bucket seats with carbon-fibre backs and leather/Dinamica microfibre combination upholstery with red honeycomb stitching, copper-coloured highlights and RS6 GT lettering.
Red and copper accents are seen elsewhere inside – including on the steering wheel, centre console, centre armrest and floor mat stitching.
Black Dinamica microfibre is also used on the armrests, dashboard and centre console – with an open-pore carbon twill inlay available for the dashboard as an option – while the seatbelts are red, and the car’s build number is printed on the centre console.
The 2024 Audi RS6 Avant GT is due in European showrooms by the middle of the year. More than 20 examples are destined for Australia, out of 660 planned to be assembled globally, from the second half of 2024.
Production of the GT begins at the same Neckarsulm, Germany factory home to the regular RS6 – but after the body is pressed, painted and assembled, vehicles are shipped to the Böllinger Höfe factory where the E-Tron GT electric car and, until recently, the R8 supercar were built.
There, further assembly of the vehicles is conducted by seven employees at three stations, with cars spending a “whole day” at each station for the fitment of the GT-specific parts, such as the carbon-fibre bonnet and wheel arches, unique rear spoiler, front and rear bumpers, and coil-over suspension.
Audi claims the Böllinger Höfe is “net carbon neutral”, as it offsets emissions it produces by purchasing “carbon credits from certified environmental projects.”